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Awkward., Ep 4.07: “After Hours” continues Matty’s downward spiral

Awkward., Ep 4.07: “After Hours” continues Matty’s downward spiral
Ashley Rickards, Jillian Rose Reed, Elizabeth Whitson

Ashley Rickards, Jillian Rose Reed, Elizabeth Whitson

Awkward., Season 4, Episode 7: “After Hours”
Written by Ryan O’Connell
Directed by Ryan Shiraki
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on MTV

Jenna’s overnight visit to college a few weeks ago began a new chapter in her life, as she began dating a college student as well as eagerly anticipating the end of high school. Her feelings for Matty, however, have been a constant source of conflict since the beginning of Awkward., and it was inevitable that she would have to reconcile her current feelings for her ex with her new relationship at some point. Jenna faces this conflict in this week’s episode, in an entertaining outing that adds to Matty’s woes.

The increasing difference between Jenna and Tamara continues to be a fascinating aspect of this season. With the overnight college stay pointing out the dissimilar way in which the two friends spend a night on campus, Jenna’s jealousy of Matty and Eva growing and getting squashed over the course of an episode only serves to highlight the extended nature of Tamara’s obsession with Jake. With Jenna voicing her concerns and actively trying to stop Tamara this week, it will be interesting to see how long the former continues to tolerate the latter’s antics with regards to Jake. As Jenna is already beginning to dissociate herself from high school, it’s conceivable that her patience with Tamara will grow thin, which may not bode well for the survival of their friendship. What finally snaps Tamara out of her obsession with Jake will be worth watching out for, as the chance that she might throw away her friendship with Jenna in the process no longer seems inconceivable.

The continuing deterioration of Matty’s life is also a compelling part of this week’s episode. Matty’s arrest at the end of the episode is a particularly promising storyline, as it is the first major incident since his onstage meltdown that revealed the cause of his downward spiral. In light of that, it will be intriguing to see how others treat Matty, particularly individuals such as Valerie and Matty’s parents. It’s clear at this point that Matty is unable to properly process the news of his adoption. This may lead him to turn away any sympathy he receives for his latest transgression. However, while he has previously rebuffed help from Jenna, he has similarly embraced Sadie’s friendship to help him get through this, which may in turn mean he’d be willing to accept help depending on the source. How Matty deals with this, and how Jake handles learning of the news, will be worth watching out for.

Overall, this is a fun episode. It’s intriguing to see Sadie suffer another blow just before Matty does, as it further shows how the two are going through similar downward turns in their lives. Having already reached out to each others’ friendships, it will be promising to see whether the two end up helping each other out of their current state, or if they both seek help from elsewhere. Eva’s behaviour is also worth noting this week. For all her anecdotes, people have yet to really know who Eva is, and as Sadie points out, holes can be poked in Eva’s story. Her quiet slip away as Matty and Jake encounter the police is very telling, and whether or not this leads to the group finding out Eva’s true nature, as well as how this affects Eva’s friendship with Jenna, will be worth keeping an eye on as the season continues.

– Deepayan Sengupta